The NDA government plans to set up a pay commission for parliamentarians. The panel, to be reconstituted with the formation of every Lok Sabha, is aimed to put an end to the much criticized current practice of MPs deciding their own salaries.
In 2010, MPs in both houses of parliament passed a bill to give themselves over three times hike in salary from 16,000 to Rs 50,000 and doubled their daily and office allowances, leading to public criticism and a call for a review of the process even among MPs.
An agenda paper of the parliamentary affairs ministry for the upcoming All India Whips Conference, has identified the requirement of a panel as one of the key issues.
The proposed Emoluments Commission would be headed by a Chief Commissioner assisted by maximum two commissioners. While the chief commissioner shall be an eminent person from the field of public affairs with knowledge of functioning of Parliament, the other members will be experts in the field of finance, planning, law or public administration.
A few months ago, a inter-party parliamentary panel headed by BJP’s Jogi Adityanath had proposed a 100% hike in salaries with steep rise in other allowances and inclusion of new perks. But a cautious government, possibly fearing public backlash, decided to ignore the proposals.
Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)’s survey has shown out of 138 chambers from 104 parliaments world-wide, 50% chambers indicated that their parliament determines MPs’ salaries. Elsewhere, the government or the Head of State sets parliament’s salaries and allowances.
The Commission’s report will be submitted to the Government. Although the recommendations are not binding, the Centre will consider them to make rules for determining the salary, allowances and other benefits for MPs and ex-MPs.